mixed media embellishments

Paper Flowers and Mixed Media Project

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I’ve been having a bit of creative slump with my projects so I decided to just go take my own advice and make anything! I got this lovely Paper Poetry cherry blossom kit a little while ago so I decided to try it out.

At first I found it frustrating as it was quite fiddly and I’ve not been working with paper for a long time. But my flowers got better and making them was more about breaking my annoying creative brick wall.

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I’ve been doing a lot of embroidery projects the last few months and this was one of my biggest influences on my next project. I had bought a copper S shape from Hobbycraft a few months ago as I wanted to add some interesting wall art to my new craft room. I had a vague idea of adding wire and beads to it, so I just opened my box of embellishments and beads and started.

Of course my little friend Dr Truffles wanted to see what was going on as well!

When I ran out of colourful wire, I started using some black twine and tying parts of it in knots. I added beads, metal charms, paper flowers, anything I could find that I thought went together well. love how it turned out!

Altoid Tin Tutorial – Little Fishes

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Life has been pretty hectic recently as I got sick, then started driving lessons and a French class! So my art projects have been a bit neglected over the past month, but I did make this little fish pond tin a while ago and wanted to do another tutorial so I thought this would be a nice update on an Altoid tin tutorial I did last year. I hope you like!

Materials:

  • Altoid Tin
  • Polymer Clay
  • Clear Resin
  • Metal Primer Spray
  • Spray Paint
  • Shimmer Powers
  • Beads, fantasy film, other mixed media things

Preparation:

  • A general idea of what you want to make
  • A clean workspace, materials and tools, drink and snacks on hand

The first thing you want to do is prepare your tin. Spray with a metal primer to stop the paint scratching off. It will need a few light coats. While your tin dries, you want to start making something to put in your tin. I made two fish in different colours, but you make whatever you like. I also made a bit of seabed with plants to give it more interest.

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Once you’re happy with your coverage of the tin with primer, spray with the spray paint. I experimented a bit with my colours and did a vibrant purple on the outside and a gold chrome inside. It doesn’t need to look perfect and I actually like the effect of the gold shining through on the hinges. Before I baked my fish, I added some Perfect Pearls to them as I just love shimmer! With your creation add whatever you like – beads, powders, metals.

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Mixed Media Fantasy Pond

I wanted to do a different kind of nature themed project incorporating more mixed media in with my sculpture. While my love affair with the sea and all its creatures continues, I wanted to try something else for my new big piece. After finding a kidney shaped glass dish in Oxfam, I was inspired to make a pond.

I had all my materials and ideas but as usual I was procrastinating about starting my new project. I have a tendency to strive for perfection which stops me doing anything at all. I had been looking at Christi Friessen’s book Flourish which I bought a few weeks ago and I just love her approach to creating. Perfection be damned!

I decided to start of small and made some fish using a combination of orange colours and translucent. I was pleased with the way they came out, especially as they were my first try. I made my pond over about a week, starting on a weekend. I mixed browns, sand, translucent and grey together to get a marbled affect and started placing it in the dish, building up rocks around the side. I made more marbled colours with some lighter and some darker to add contrast between the rocks. I then began making reeds from green polymer clay, using a similar mixing technique to get a deep colour of green.

As I went along, I realised I was making more of a fantasy pond. The elements where exaggerated and stylised which is my favourite way of working and allows a kind of freedom to take something and change it. I added different beads to round-headed pins, twisted the ends with pliers and added them into the clay.

I decided to add a little bug and a frog, nestling them into some of the twisted leaves. I made a bunch of lily pads, baking a few separately so I could add them to the resin later on. I brushed different colours of Perfect Pearls onto the leaves and creatures to give it a gorgeous shimmer. When everything had baked and cooled I started adding the resin to the dish in layers, adding pieces of fantasy film in the bottom. I added the fish to the second layer and scrunched smaller pieces of fantasy film in cobalt blue, which added dimension and shimmer to the pond.I am really happy with the way this project turned out. It is lush and vivid and the glass dish was a great choice to build into a pond.

Mixed Media Hindu Goddess Lakshmi

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If you follow my social media, you may have seen some updates on a Hindu goddess I was making. A lovely friend of mine sent me a commission request for Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity (both physical and material). I just loved this idea and was thrilled – and a little bit apprehensive!

I looked through a few images I found on Pinterest and decided to approach my project as a clay relief on wood, adding different media to create the opulent and embellished style I love in Indian religious art.

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My craft desk! Always messy with something

Materials 

  • A4 wood
  • balsa wood
  • Pencil
  • Polymer Clay (I used Fimo)
  • Clay tools
  • Gold leaf
  • Assorted beads, metal charms
  • Strong glue
  • Paper flowers
  • Clay varnish
  • Pasta Machine
  • Liquid sculpey

Using a print out as a general guide, I started by sketching an image onto the wood, adding a board round the sides. Gathering my base colours of blue, pink and gold, I started mixing different blues together to get an idea of shade and, using my pasta machine, rolled out the clay into small sheets.

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Mixed Media On Wood

A Mixed Media Daydream

Happy Springtime!

It’s my birthday tomorrow (32 years young!) and what better excuse to get some art supplies and new books! I got this gorgeous book The Book of Beetles: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred of Nature’s Gems and 100 Flowers from the RHS: 100 Postcards in a Box as amazing references for my artwork.

I also bought 50 Art Ideas you need to know as I love learning about the history of art and 101 Mixed Media Techniques which has loads of great ideas and things I am already trying out in my art journal pages. I think I need a new bookcase!

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Polymer Clay box

Some Recent Polymer Clay Things

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This is a short post as an update on what I have been doing recently.

My main project has been an altered wooden box. I removed the lid and covered it with polymer clay (Fimo), creating a hummingbird on a branch as the central image. Using my pasta machine to roll the clay into sheets, I cut out the shapes and built the image up with leaves and flowers around the edges of the box. I used some tools to texture the bird, branches and leaves and added my favourite Perfect Pearls for shimmer and depth. I added some Tim Holtz hinges to the back and a clasp at the front I had.

For the bottom part of the box I primed it with Gesso then painted a few coats of Cosmic Shimmer paint in green and blue. When baking the lid I made some separate leave pieces with added gold leaf and once they were hard I glued them to the box for interest. I then varnished it and am quite pleased with how it turned out, especially the background.

Feeling a little despondent recently, I bought this book Pop Surrealism to inspire me. It’s glossy and beautiful with interesting essays at the being about this movement. I’ve always been drawn to this kind of ‘underground’ art and didn’t really know about Pop Surrealism until a few years ago.

I made a little frog from clay when I didn’t have any particular project in mind, which was fun because I just made something from scratch.

 

I made this octopus in the round sweets tin a few weeks ago but had run out of resin. I was finally able to complete his watery home the other day and think he is super cute. I experimented with the colour and made him gradient from orange to yellow. He is my favourite octopus I’ve made so far.

I’m updating some of my pages on the blog and starting some new clay projects as well. Next week I am off to London and the South for a few days so looking forward to going to some museums, getting some inspiration and having a mini break.

Dreams & Magic Altered Shadow Box

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While the evil old creative rut crept up on me I decided to get a few items and start a new shadow box, as it had been quite a long time since my last one and I was falling out of love with my embroidery a bit.

Some things I used to make this box include:

  • Tim Holtz heart charms
  • Tim Holtz arrows adornments
  • Tom Hotltz foundation feet & decorative corners
  • Mini bottles
  • fimo clay
  • found items including metal charms, buttons and wooden adornments
  • resin
  • papers and die cut pieces
  • fabric flowers and little mushroom bird

This was my first time using resin as I wanted the bottles  to look like they were full of liquid. I loved making them, I filled one with tiny fimo bugs! My next project will be something with resin.

Here are few pictures as I made the box, it measures 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches which is super cute!

I seem to love butterflies! One thing I love about making things like this is gathering my different items and finding a way to combine them with my theme. Nature is a strong theme in my work now and I wanted the box to be quite light and uplifting. The items inside are also symbolic in a similar way to dreams, such as the key and the different bottles. The box came with a plastic front piece which I used, as dust getting in pieces like these is annoying and impossible to clean!

To see some of my daily art updates just check out my social media links 🙂

Art Journals – Texture

journal texture page

I had a few days off which I thought would be a good opportunity to start the art journal pages challenge I set myself, and this one was to make a page heavy with texture. Sometimes it is hard to just pick up materials and not really think about where to put them, but I consciously decided that the page would be layers of textures first and the image would come later.

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Shabby Chic Style Configurations Book & Video!

This is a something I made recently for my sister’s birthday. I had the theme of ‘shabby chic’ in mind as that is something she likes. It was lots of fun to make, although I would like to find a better way to prep chipboard as it did warp a little.

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Pushing Mixed Media and Finding Your Style

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As I continue my passion for mixed media I have discovered I want to push the different mediums and the pages, testing them to find interesting images. I am into layering, texture, colour and movement at the moment and these have become part of my overall style.

I want to see how much the paper can take with sprays, water, paint, collage and now with a modelling paste that dries to a stone texture. What elements does this add to the piece? How does it pull together or push apart the overall page? How does it relate to the subject of the page?

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Fairy Tale Inspired Printer’s Tray

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Printer's Tray

Fairy tale Printer’s tray

This is one of my favourite projects to create, and going out and finding little elements to put into the tray is one of my life’s joys! I find so many things and think ‘I could use that!’ – it is a good job the tray and items are small or I would be broke!

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